YouGov’s poll on April 10 to 11 – the first since Brexit was exteneded up until October 31 – shows Labour a clear leader with 24 percent of the public’s backing. The Conservatives are in second place at 16 percent, said the poll of 1,843 people. That is a steep drop from the 2017 general election.
Meanwhile, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, which was officially launched on Friday, is third with 15 percent backing, and UKIP is on 14 percent.
Another new party, Change UK, which includes Chuka Umunna among its number, are on seven percent.
The Liberal Democrats are on eight percent, the same as the Greens, while the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru are both on six percent.
Brexit live: Theresa May is facing defeat in the EU elections
Talks between the Government and Labour are set to continue over the Easter parliamentary recess in the hope of finding a Brexit agreement that will be acceptable to MPs.
The EU has insisted the terms of the UK’s withdrawal, rejected three times by MPs, cannot be renegotiated – but there is scope to strengthen the political declaration, a document setting out the parameters of the UK’s future relations with the EU, ahead of the new Brexit deadline.
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3.23pm update: Ukip MEPs jump ship to join Farage’s Brexit Party
Two Ukip MEPs have announced they are quitting the party to join Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party.
West Midlands MEP Jill Seymour and Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire MEP Jane Collins announced their resignations on Monday.
It is understood that a third Ukip MEP, Margot Parker, has also quit the party.
Ms Collins said Ukip’s attitude to women was “disgusting” and said she wanted to spend the rest of her time as an MEP fighting to secure a “real Brexit”, saying Mr Farage’s new party is the “best way of achieving that”.
She said: “To have people like Carl Benjamin on the list for the party is something I find disgusting, and to hear Gerard Batten on national TV yesterday defending this man’s use of rape as ‘satire’ made me sick to my stomach.”
3.00pm update: Rumours that Tories will “field anti-Brexit MEP candidates” appear
Patrick O’Flynn took to Twitter to state the party was planning to field “anti-Brexit MEPs” for the European elections in May.
Mr O’Flynn tweeted: “Rumours that the Tories will field anti-Brexit MEP candidates, including one who said the Brexit vote made him feel ashamed to be British!”
Brexit live: Rumour are abound of anti-Brexit MEP candidates during European elections
2.50pm update: Theresa May leaves Brexit behind as she travels to Wales for Easter break
While Downing Street soke on her behalf, Theresa May left behind her Brexit woes in Westminster for a walking holiday in the Welsh mountains.
Mrs May’s office said the Prime Minister and husband Philip began their vacation on Saturday after Parliament broke for the Easter recess.
Their break comes as Mrs May continues to try to plot a way to get her Brexit deal through Parliament, amid warnings her position will be under threat if the UKs participation in the European elections goes ahead on May 23.
Two years ago, during a similar holiday in the area, the Prime Minster – a keen walker – made the fateful decision to call a general election.
Asked by reporters at Westminster if she was considering another appeal to the country to end the Brexit deadlock, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman replied: “No.”
2.30pm: Death notice for “UK democracy” printed in The Times newspaper
A notice of death for UK democracy has appeared in the deaths section of The Times newspaper
The notice said democracy “died quietly in her sleep” at 11pm on March 29, the time that the UK had been scheduled to leave the EU.
The message was printed in the newspaper on Monday among the usual death notices.
The notice said: “It was with sad regret that Democracy died quietly in her sleep at 11pm, on the 29th March 2019. The cause of death was by foul play and the culprits have yet to be brought to justice.
“Democracy campaigned for the rule of law, human rights and free elections. She listened to everyone and favoured the majority in all her decisions. She will be sorely missed. God have mercy on her soul.”
Prices for printing a death notice in The Times start at £87, according to the website of the paper’s parent company, News UK.
A death notice for “the death of democracy” has been published in The Times for £87
1.15pm update: March economy “better than expected” despite political turmoil and Brext fears
The Office for National Statistics say the economy showed few signs of slowing down in March due to an early warning system the organisation is trialling.
Political turmoil around Brexit uncertainty was expected to slow down the UK economy.
But VAT data and road monitoring, designed to provide an advanced signal of economic problems as much as a month before official data are published, found little evidence of any reaction in the economy.
The ONS said: “The main VAT indicators show a mixed picture for [the first quarter of] 2019.
“Whilst some indicators in the heatmap are slightly above or below their average values, most indicators are around their average values.”
Mr Williamson said he was not interested in becoming the next Tory leader
12.40pm update: Defence Secretary: “So many amazing candidates” are looking to become Tory leader
Speaking on a visit to a military base in Suffolk, defence secretary Gavin Williamson said there are “so many amazing candidates that are obviously looking for votes” to become the next leader of the Conservative Party.
Mr Williamson said his vote would go to whoever could ensure the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, did not make it into power.
He said: “I’m looking at all those candidates and I’ll consider as to who I should support and a key part of that is who is going to be best in terms of leading our country and who is going to be best in terms of leading our party and equally importantly making sure they beat Jeremy Corbyn.
He did not rule himself out as a potential candidate or indicate a favourite, stating that he was focused on maintaining his role as Defence Secretary.
12.25pm update: Foreign Secretary tells May to “repair” relationship with DUP allies
Mr Hunt said mrs Mrs should “rebuild” the Conservative Party’s coalition with the DUP as he warned against a “highly damaging” delay to Brexit
He said “Brexit paralysis” would harm the UK’s international standing.
But following on from comments he made about “constructive” talks with Labour, he warned the meetigs may not succeed.
Instead, he said Mrs May sshpuld focus on reepairing relations with the DUP, the Norther Irish party whose 10 MPs are propping up the Tory Government.
Speaking in Japan, Mr Hunt said: “The talks that we are having with Labour are detailed and I think more constructive than people had thought.
“I think they are more detailed and more constructive than people had been expecting on both sides. But we don’t know if they are going to work and it may be that we need to find a way to rebuild the Conservative DUP coalition.
“I think the absolute priority for Theresa May is to get Brexit over the line before the 23rd of May so we don’t end up fighting the European Parliament elections which I think would be a huge disappointment to people in Britain.”
Meanwhile Mr Hunt attempted to explain Brexit to a class of Japanese children – in under 90 seconds.
Brexit live: Mr Hunt said Mrs May should repair relations with DUP in case cross-party talks falter
12.05pm update: Rees-Mogg predicts next leader of the Tory party
Despite the Pime Minister telling aides she will not call an early general election, ERG chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg today shared his thoughts on who would replace the Prime Minister as Tory leader – and possible UK Prime Minister.
Mr Rees-Mogg caved to LBC host Nick Ferrari’s questioning on a call-in this morning., who asked the backbench MP: “Who might be the leader to take the party into better times and better territory?”
Astonishingly, the prominent Eurosceptic responded with an answer – explaining that it was Boris Johnson who was “leading the field”.
Mr Rees-Mogg said: “There are so many talented people in the Conservative Party.
“But it’s noticeable how popular Boris Johnson is and the appeal he has beyond Tory voters and Eurosceptics.
“There was a very good piece by him in The Telegraph this morning, setting out some of the appeal he has and some of what is needed.
Brexit news: Jacob Rees-Mogg revealed which Tory would receive his backing as possible leader
11.46am update: Theresa May “not thinking” about calling an early election to break impasse in parliament
On Monday, the Prime Minister made it clear that she is not thinking about an election – and confimed that cross-party talks with Labour will continue, despite no timetable yet in place.
A spokesman or Theresa May said the talks ill now take place in “smaller groups” and would concentrate on “specific issues” rights and security.
Downing Street also said the Prime Minister has also “made it clear” that no-deal preparations would continue in the UK ahead of the new Brexit deadline day of October 31.
Business Secretary Greg Clark and his Labour shadow Rebecca Long-Bailey will look at services and consumer and workers’ rights, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and his counterpart Sue Hayman will consider environmental protections, and Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer will look at security.
Mrs May has also written to all civil servants to thank them for their work in preparing for Brexit – and clarified that no-deal perparations would continue.
In her letter to the civil service, she said: “On preparations specifically for leaving the EU without a deal, you will rightly be guided by the cabinet secretary and by your own permanent secretaries about continued planning. Necessary preparations for a no-deal outcome must continue, though with sensibly adjusted timescales given the extension we have agreed.”
The Prime Minister has insisted she will continue to hold cross-party talks
11.25am update: Consumer group warns “dangerous” products could flood UK after Brexit
Dangerous toys, cars and household goods could flood into the UK after Brexit.
According to Which?, there could be crucial delays in rooting out unsafe products if continued access to the European Safety Gate rapid warning system is not brokered.
EU member states warned of 2,257 dangerous products last year, which prompted responses such as recalls and goods being seized at the border.
In recent months alerts were issued over a toxic child’s putty that could damage their reproductive systems and clothing that poses a strangulation risk.
Access to the system and other intelligence-sharing schemes must be negotiated in a post-Brexit deal.
Which? advocacy director Caroline Normand said: “If it is to make people’s safety the number one priority, the Government must secure access to the European alert and information sharing systems after Brexit, as well as introduce major domestic reforms to ensure consumers are properly protected from unsafe products.”
10.50am update: Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party reveals shock MEP candidate
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage will today announce a former head of the British Chambers of Commerce as an MEP candidate for his new Brexit Party as up to 40 EU election candidates are said to be plotting to defect from the Tories amid fears of polls “disaster”.
Mr Farage has made a return to frontline politics with the launch of his new pro-Brexit, Eurosceptic political party. He will unveil John Longworth as MEP candidate, the latest member to join his eurosceptic party.
Mr Longworth claimed both the Tories and Labour “lied, obfuscated and dissembled” in failing to fulfil the result of the 2016 EU referendum in a piece for the Daily Telegraph.
He wrote: “It is time for a revolution in politics, a revolution which has historical precedent and is as much a part of the culture of Britain’s body politic as Parliament itself.
“Career politicians, policy wonks who make a career of becoming politicians, without ever having done anything else in life, make for feeble representatives. You could fire a thousand party poppers in the House of Commons and not hit anyone who has done business.
“You could pop a thousand champagne corks in the European Parliament (which they do regularly) and get the same result.”
Brexit news: Mr Farage has announced Brexit Party’s shock MEP candidate
10.15am update: May’s leadership rivals try to DODGE Brexit demanding she SORTS crisis before quitting
THERESA May is being urged to remain as Prime Minister into the autumn if she can’t get her Brexit deal through Parliament.
Supporters of Cabinet contenders for the Number 10 hot seat made clear in private they do not want a leadership challenge before the first stage of Brexit is resolved, even if cross-party talks with Labour fail to yield positive results, sources told The Times.
They fear a summer leadership challenge before Theresa May can get her Brexit deal thorough Parliament would provide Brexiteer rivals Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab with vital momentum, both of whom have pledged to re-open talks with Brussels.
The Prime Minister has come under huge pressure following her decision to accept a deadline of October 31 from Brussels to extend the Article 50 process and to begin talks with Jeremy Corbyn as she desperately looks for ways to build support for her Brexit deal.
Mrs May has vowed to quit once this first stage of negotiations is complete, but one source backing a Cabinet rival told The Times their candidate would be “perfectly happy” for her to remain in office until December when, under the Tory leadership rules, she can next face a confidence vote.
The source said: “We want a contest after the first stage of Brexit has been sorted so we can talk about other things. Most leading contenders do not want an early challenge, even if that means waiting and supporting the Prime Minister until December.”
Brexit live: Theresa May has been urged to remain as Prime Minister until later this year
10.00am update: Eight out of ten finance leaders expect environment to be worse after Brexit
UK businesses are expecting the long-term environment to decline as a result of the UK exiting the EU.
Deloitte warned that worries over the long-term impact of Brexit are mounting, with more than half of finance bosses in the UK expecting to halt recruitment and spending.
The accountancy firm’s latest survey interviewed 89 chief financial officers (CFOs), including 48 representing FTSE 100 companies and smaller firms on the FTSE 250.
Only found 13 percent of those surveyed were optimistc about the future of ther company.
More than half – 53% – also expect to reduce hiring staff because of Brexit.
A timeline explaining what could happen next in Brexit
9.30am update: UK house prices are rising as buyers “bored” waiting for Brexit re-ignite the market
House prices rised 1.1 percent – or £3,447 – in the month to April 6, meaning the average price is now £305,449. But despite the spring bounce in April the figure is still 0.1% lower than a year ago.
Rightmove said the uncertain political backdrop continues to hold back the market, with new seller asking prices, the number of properties coming to market and the number of sales agreed all below this time last year.
Rightmove director Miles Shipside said: “The rise in new seller asking prices reflects growing activity as the market builds momentum, egged on by the arrival of Easter.“
Some sectors of the market and some parts of the country have strong buyer demand and a lack of suitable supply.
“However, on average, properties are still coming to the market at slightly lower prices than a year ago.
“It’s one of the most price-sensitive markets that we’ve seen for years, with buyers understandably looking for value or for homes with extra quality and appeal that suit their needs.”
Brexit live: UK house prices will rise as buys and sellers are “bored by brexit”
9.25am: Nigel Evans warns May’will plead for another Brexit EXTENSION’
The Brexiteer MP warned the Prime Minister will return to Brussels “cap in hand” in October to demand the European Union agree to yet another Brexit extension.
Theresa May last week sparked the fury across the country after she agreed to a new Brexit extension until October 31 despite pledging not to sign up the country to stay inside the European Union past June 30.
Tory MP Nigel Evans reacted furiously to the news, predicting the Prime Minister will ask for a further delay to Brexit before the new deadline is due to expire in the Autumn.
Speaking to LBC, Mr Evans said: “We’re still in the European Union and the can has been kicked down the road towards Halloween.
“I can see us on October 30, Theresa May going back to Brussels, cap in hand yet again, asking ‘can we stay until March 2020?’ The whole thing is absolutely preposterous.
“She went to Brussels, basically cap in hand but her hands tied behind her back at the same time. Brussels saw all of this, they saw the weakness of Theresa May.”
Brexit live: Mrs May has extended Article 50 to October – to the fury of Brexiteer Tory MPs
9.05am update: Rees-Mogg launches attack on ‘foolish’ Lammy after he compares Brexiteers to NAZIS
Jacob Rees-Mogg has lashed out at David Lammy after the Labour MP compared the Brexit-backing European Research Group to Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party.
The prominent Brexiteer and chair of ERG said he felt sorry for the Labour MP following his controversial comments which made him “look foolish”.
In a blistering attack, Mr Rees-Mogg said Mr Lammy’s comments were “unbalanced” and would “damage his reputation”.
He tweeted: “I feel sorry for Mr Lammy, comparing a Parliamentary ginger group with an organisation and creed that killed six million Jewish people makes him look foolish and his comments unbalanced.
“It damages his reputation.”
Brexit live: Mr Rees-Mogg said he felt “sorry” for David Lammy following his shock comments
8.53am update: Cross-party brexit talks are “more constructive” than people think
Jeremy hunt has said talks between Mrs May’s Government and the Labour Party to agree to a plan are more constructive than people think,
Mr Hunt told BBC Radio: “Talks we are having with Labour are detailed and I think more constructive than people have thought.
“They are more detailed and more constructive than people had been expecting on both sides. But we don’t know if they are going to work.”
Meetings between ministers and their opposite numbers from Labour are due to continue this week, Cabinet Office minister David Lidington said on Sunday – but it has not been confirmed if the talks will resume today.
8.30am update: Hammond mocked Tory peers for engaging in “suicide pact”
Philip Hammond mocked prominent Tory peers for engaging in a “suicide pact” during failed bids to beat Theresa May to the Tory leadership.
Brexit live: Mr Hunt said that cross-party talks had been “constructive”
The Daily Telegraph reported Mr Hammond used a speech in the US on Friday to say Environment Secretary Michael Gove and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson had formed an “unintended suicide pact” in the 2016 leadership contest.
The Chancellor said that Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom had effectively “knifed herself” during the race to become Prime Minister, according to the newspaper.
Mrs May is facing calls to quit and trigger a new leadership contest, with ex-cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith saying she should stand down as early as next month.
Mr Johnson hit back at David Lammy after the Labour MP defended comparing some Tory peers to the Nazis.
The remarks came as Cabinet Office minister David Lidington, Mrs May’s defacto deputy, said talks with Labour on trying to end the deadlock would continue over the Easter parliamentary recess. But discussions are not expected to resume on Monday, according to Labour sources.
Referring to the leadership battle, the newspaper reported Mr Hammond as saying: “If you remember last time this happened in 2016, Gove and Johnson knifed each other in an unintended suicide pact.
Brexit live: Hammond mocked Tory peers for engaging in a “suicide pact” over failed leadership bids
“Which left just Andrea Leadsom and Theresa May. And then Andrea Leadsom knifed herself in a private suicide pact and Theresa May inherited the prime ministership without anybody casting a single vote.”
8.20am update: Hunt to tell Japan business leaders UK is focused on avoiding no deal
Jeremy Hunt is using a visit to Japan to tell business leaders that the UK is focused on avoiding a no-deal Brexit.
Following withdrawal from the EU being delayed until October 31, Mr Hunt will stress on Monday that Britain is seeking “tariff-free frictionless trade” with the bloc.
As well as meeting Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe, Mr Hunt is also visiting a Tokyo high school to help teach English.
The Foreign Secretary will “update them on EU exit developments, and reassure them that UK Government is focused on avoiding a no-deal Brexit and on agreeing a deal which that will ensure tariff-free frictionless trade between the EU and the UK”.
Mr Hunt, who has previously worked in Japan, intends to promote English as the “language of opportunity” on the trip.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Mr Hunt said: “I’m privileged to be able to visit Japan as Foreign Secretary and see how that shared culture is inspiring the next generation. The UK has always been an outward-looking global power. That cannot change after Brexit. I look forward to our relationship with Japan getting even closer in the years after we leave the EU.”