BREXIT LIVE: 'No backstop means NO DEAL' May firm in LIKE IT OR LUMP IT ultimatum to MPs

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Posted on Dec 5 2018 - 8:02am by admin

In the key vote of the day the government was found in contempt of Parliament over its refusal to publish the legal advise in full. MPs in the House of Commons voted 311 to 293 in favour of the motion finding ministers in contempt of Parliament. Minutes after the historic contempt vote, the government went down to its third defeat in the space of an hour as MPs backed a move which could put Parliament in the driving seat if the Brexit deal is rejected on December 11.

 MPs approved an amendment from Tory Dominic Grieve which aims to give them a greater say if Theresa May’s Brexit is defeated during the “meaningful vote”.

Grieve’s amendment passed through parliament with 321 voting in favour and 299 voting against.

Mr Grieve’s amendment was backed by a number of Tory MPs including Sir Oliver Letwin, Ken Clarke and Anna Soubry.

SkyNews Political Editor Faisal Islam called the vote “the most terrible legislative hour for a sitting UK Government for decades”.

READ MORE: What happens if May CAN’T get her Brexit deal through Commons?

Brexit news latest Theresa May

Brexit latest: Theresa May is facing an uphill task to convince members of parliament (Image: GETTY)

Today’s finding of contempt is a badge of shame for this Government. It is of huge constitutional and political significance.

Sir Keir Starmer

He wrote on Twitter: “This is probably the most terrible legislative hour for a sitting UK Government for decades – an unprecedented contempt defeat and a significant procedural defeat on its most important task.”

If the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement and political declaration agreed with Brussels fails to get through the Commons the PM has just 21 days to set out a statement on her next steps.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said the finding of contempt is a “badge of shame” for the Government.

He said: “Today’s finding of contempt is a badge of shame for this Government. It is of huge constitutional and political significance.”

The Leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom said: “We’ve tested the opinion of the House twice on this very serious subject.

“We’ve listened carefully and in light of the expressed will of the House we will publish the final and full advice provided by the Attorney General to Cabinet but recognising the very serious constitutional issues this raises I have referred the matter to the privileges committee to consider the implications of the humble address.”

In the fist vote of the day MPs had earlier rejected a Government amendment to the motion, which Labour argued sought to kick the issue into the “long grass” until after the vote on the Brexit deal, by 311 votes to 307, majority four.

This amendment asked for the Committee of Privileges to question whether ministers were in contempt of Parliament.

Following the votes in parliament Theresa May defended her Brexit deal and her controversial plan for the Northern Ireland border stating “no backstop means no deal”.

Mrs May insisted the backstop is “not a trick to trap us in the EU”.

She added: “It actually gives us some important benefits of access to the EU’s market without many of the obligations and that is something the EU will not want to let happen let alone persist for a long time.”

Follow today’s latest Brexit news with the Express.co.uk live blog below:

8.45pm update: PM’s Brexit ‘pulls up the drawbridge’ on EU nationals – Ian Blackford

Ian Blackford has criticised Theresa May’s Brexit plan for “pulling up the drawbridge” on EU nationals.

SNP Westminster leader taking questions in parliament was asked by Tory Daniel Kawczynski, the UK’s first Polish-born MP, whether his pro-immigration stance would “give wind to Ukip’s sails”.

Mr Blackford said: “I simply say we need to take these arguments on – migration has enriched us.

“The thought we would take up the drawbridge and stop people coming to participate in the growth of our country is quite fundamentally repugnant to me.”

8.20pm update: May walks out during Boris speech 

Theresa May stayed in the House of Commons for the first 27 minutes before returning to Downing Street as Boris Johnson debated with MP’s in Parliament.

8.10pm update: Boris Johnson calls Theresa May’s Brexit deal a ‘national humiliation’ in the House of Commons

Boris Johnson has labelled Theresa May’s Brexit deal a “national humiliation” after a fiery encounter with MP’s in the House of Commons.

The former foreign secretary said there was not one member who believes this is a good deal for Britain during a scathing attack on day one of debates in parliament.

Mr Johnson said: “I must regretfully say to the Prime Minister, I really can’t believe there is a single member of this House who sincerely believes this deal we have before us is a good deal.”

Mr Johnson later said: “The Government’s heart has not appeared to be in this deal and I think listening to those who are sent out to defend it and to explain it, they know it is a democratic disaster.”

The Tory MP added: “It has brought us together – Remainers and Leavers, myself and Tony Blair, the whole Johnson family is united in the belief that this is, I’m afraid, a national humiliation that makes a mockery of Brexit.”

MP’s will formally vote on the withdraw agreement and political declaration in one weeks time on December 11 and Mr Johnson has urged MP’s to vote down the deal.

He said: “I very much hope this great House of Commons will vote down this deal. In Brussels they think they have got us beat.”

In a passionate plea Mr Johnson ridiculed one of Mrs May’s key backstop plans as “nonsensical” stating there are “plenty of other options”.

His lengthy speech was not without controversy as he was heckled by one of his Tory colleagues and asked what his “big idea” was after blasting Theresa May’s deal as a “pseudo Brexit”.

Sir Roger Gale intervened and said: “He appears to be one who prefers the grievance to the solution.

“The Prime Minister has come up with a solution. What’s his big idea?”

Mr Johnson replied: “I was just coming to that.”

Closing his speech the leading Brexiteer said the government was trying to “cheat” the British people and they will “never forgive”.

He said: “The people of this country voted for freedom, they voted for independence and for a better Britain and for a country where politicians actually listen to what they have to say.

“If we try to cheat them, as I fear that we are, the will never forgive us.”

7.35pm update: Grieve continues to back government despite his ammendment defeating government 

Dominic Grieve has spoken out since his ammendment passed through parliament which helps to ensure a no-deal Brexit does not happen. 

Mr Grieve told Skynews he “can’t guarantee that No Deal is off the table but a device that was trying to manoeuvre us towards No Deal is off the table”.

Mr Grieve added: “It gives me no pleasure to defeat the Government – I have no desire to undermine the PM – but the only way to work through this is to debate all the options.”

Despite his amendment humiliating the government after MP’s voted in favour of it by 321 to 299 Mr Grieve has still backed the government to deliver Brexit.

He said: “I think the government is still fit to govern.”

7.20pm update: Corbyn expects parliament to “reject” Brexit deal December 11

Jeremy Corbyn has called Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the EU a ”leap in the dark” which “takes us no closer to understanding what the future of this country post-Brexit looks like”.

The Labour leader said the UK are in this uncertain position because of a “terrible failure of negotiation”.

Mr Corbyn added: “This Government is not taking back control, it is losing control.

“We are over barrel, either paying whatever is demanded or negotiating away fishing rights, who knows what else? This is a terrible failure of negotiation by this Government”

In a damning assessment Mr Corbyn said the Prime Minister had achieved something “extraordinary” in uniting “Conservative Remainers and Conservative Leavers” to vote against the deal.

7.00pm update: May warns the ‘only certainty would be uncertainty’ if MP’s reject her deal

Theresa May has told the House of Commons the “only certainty would be uncertainty” if MPs failed to back her Brexit deal.

The Prime Minister has urged parliament to back her deal stating the “alternative is uncertainty and risk”.

Mrs May said: “And don’t let anyone here think that there’s a better deal to be had by shouting louder.

“Don’t imagine that if we vote this down another deal is going to miraculously appear.

“The alternative is uncertainty and risk; the risk Brexit could be stopped, the risk we could crash out with no deal.”

She said it would not be in the “national interest” to block the Withdrawal Agreement, adding: “The only certainty would be uncertainty.”

6.45pm update: May accused Labour of “playing party politics” and trying to force a general election

Theresa May has accused the labour party of “trying to force a general election” after Jeremy Corbyn refused to back the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.

Mrs May said: “At a time when we should be delivering on the vote of the British people, the leader of the Opposition wants to ignore that and have another vote.

“At a time when Government is working in the national interest the leader of the Opposition is playing party politics.

“And a time when we should all be focused at this historic moment on what is best for our country, the leader of the Opposition is thinking about what gives him the best chance of forcing a general election.”

brexit news

Brett news: Boris Johnson MP speaks in the House of Commons (Image: PA)

brexit news

Brexit news: Theresa May defended her Brexit deal during day 1 of debates in parliament (Image: PA)

6.40pm update: May to give parliament more say in future relationship with EU 

The Prime Minister has promised to give Parliament a “greater and more formal role” in the UK’s forthcoming negotiations with the EU over future trade – but declined to say whether MPs would get a vote on that deal.

Mrs May said she wanted to launch a “national mission” to forge the “strongest possible future relationship” with the EU.

She said: “I want to build the broadest possible consensus both within this House and across the country, so for the next stage of negotiations we will ensure a greater and more formal role for Parliament.

“This will begin immediately as we develop our negotiating mandate building on the political declaration ahead of 29 March 2019. The Government will consult more widely and engage more intensively with Parliament as we finalise the mandate for the next phase of the negotiations.”

6.30pm update: Theresa May warns ‘no backstop means no deal’

Theresa May defended her Brexit deal and her controversial plan for the Northern Ireland border stating “no backstop means no deal”.

Mrs May insisted the backstop is “not a trick to trap us in the EU”.

She added: “It actually gives us some important benefits of access to the EU’s market without many of the obligations and that is something the EU will not want to let happen let alone persist for a long time.”

5.50pm update: Commons backs Dominic Grieve’s amendment

Theresa May’s Government suffered a third Commons defeat of the day after MPs approved an amendment from Tory Dominic Grieve which aims to give them a greater say should the Brexit deal be defeated on December 11.

Grieve’s amendment passes through parliament with 321 voting in favour and 299 voting against.

5.35pm update: Pound crashed after Parliament vote

The pound has fallen one-and-a-half cents against the US Dollar.

The pound fell to its weakest level since August at $ 1.2663.

5.25pm update: The end of a no-deal Brexit?

Theresa May is facing a battle to save her Brexit deal after suffering two humiliating defeats in the House of Commons today.

The Dominic Grieve amendment is to make next week’s vote on Theresa May’s Brexit plan more “meaningful” – and to increase the power of MPs to decide final outcome of Brexit. 

If the Government is forced to accept the amendment, it will allow the final Brexit deal to be repeatedly amended – ending Mrs May’s threats of her Brexit deal or no deal.

ITV political Editor Robert Peston wrote on Twitter: “Grieve’s amendment has been formally called by Speaker.

“So another huge vote is due tonight – this time on making sure MPs can say what kind of Brexit or no Brexit they want in the event that May’s loses vote on her Brexit.”

READ MORE: NO DEAL DEAD: Theresa May ON ROPES as rebel Grieve tables SHOCK amendment

5.15pm update: Starmer says the finding of contempt is a ‘badge of shame’

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said the finding of contempt is a “badge of shame” for the Government.

He said: “Today’s finding of contempt is a badge of shame for this Government. It is of huge constitutional and political significance.

“Never before has the House of Commons found ministers in contempt of Parliament. It is highly regrettable that the Government has let it come to this, but ministers left the opposition with no option but to bring forward these proceedings.

“By treating Parliament with contempt, the Government has proved it has lost its majority and the respect of the House. The Prime Minister can’t keep pushing Parliament away or avoiding responsible scrutiny.”

5.00pm update: Government found in contempt of parliament

MPs have voted in favour of the motion finding ministers in contempt of Parliament.

The House of Commons voted 311 to 293 to approve the privilege motion, finding Ministers in contempt and ordering the immediate publication of the full legal advice on the Brexit deal.

The Leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom has confirmed following the vote in parliament , the government will publish the legal advice in full.

She told the House: “The government has listened carefully and will publish full and final advice provided by the Attorney General, but realising the serious constitutional issues this raises, the issue will be sent to the Privileges Committee first.”

Brexit latest Theresa May

Brexit latest: Theresa May faces a crucial week as she attempts to get her deal through Parliament (Image: GETTY)

4.45pm update: Government amendment defeated

MPs have rejected a Government amendment to the cross-party contempt motion by 311 votes to 307, majority four.

This amendment asked for the Committee of Privileges to consider whether ministers were in contempt of Parliament over its handling of Brexit legal advice.

4.10pm update: BBC cancels plan for Brexit debate

The much anticipated Brexit TV debate between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn has been cancelled. 

The broadcaster is “disappointed” the debate planned for December 9 will not happen.

The head-to-head between the two leaders was scheduled just two days before MP’s vote on the Prime Ministers Brexit deal. 

It is understood a stumbling block over the format was the key issue with the BBC wanting a further eight panelists along with the Prime Minister and leader of the opposition so the debate was “fair and appropriate”.

In a statement the BBC said: “We are disappointed that we could not reach an agreement on the BBC’s proposal for a debate on Brexit.

“We have been clear throughout the whole of this process that, as well as a substantive head-to-head debate, any programme we broadcast would need to include other voices, including other political parties, to reflect the wide range of views the public and parliamentarians hold about Brexit.  

“The final proposal we put to both of the main parties was for a head-to-head debate between the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition, followed by a discussion between eight panellists, including politicians, with a wide range of views on Brexit, and ending with further head-to-head debate and closing statements. 

“We believe ours was a fair and appropriate format for those taking part and, crucially, for our audiences around the country, and it is a shame we will not be able to bring them this programme.”

3.50pm update: Peter Bone suggests contempt motion would force a ‘compromise’ before crucial vote

Peter Bone has suggested he would support the contempt motion as it would ensure the Government would come forward with a “compromise”.

Conservative MP for Wellingborough said: “Unless something very dramatically changes between now and the end of the debate – and I do have to leave the chamber as the Chief Whip would like to have a word with me.

“I do think that if the House votes for the contempt, a compromise will happen and we will get hopefully properly redacted information before we vote next Tuesday.”

3.25pm update: Dodds criticises government for not publishing full Brexit legal advice

Nigel Dodds has criticised the Government for ignoring the motion passed by the House and refusing to release the full Brexit legal advice.

The DUP Westminster Leader said it was not up to Attorney General Geoffrey Cox to decide whether it was “in the national interest” to publish it, saying it was “the duty of Parliament”.

He added: “Despite all of the candour and all of what was said yesterday; the coming to this house and making a two-and-a-half-hour oral statement and taking all of the questions and proving the reasoned position paper, does not actually fulfil the motion that was passed by this House.”

2.40pm update: DUP WON’T repay £1 billion funding deal if pact with Tories ends 

The DUP has insisted it would not repay the £1 billion funding deal given to Northern Ireland under a confidence and supply arrangement if their pact ended. 

Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson claimed the agreement between his party and the Conservatives would be “finished” if Theresa May is successful in getting her deal voted through the House of Commons, but would continue to support the government if it is voted down.

Speaking to the Press Association, he said: “Ironically, voting down a deal is probably more likely to ensure the confidence and supply arrangement goes on.

“It may well be that this could go through. If it goes through and she persists with this deal then the confidence and supply arrangement is finished, because we couldn’t possibly support a Government that was persisting in breaking up the Union.

“But our focus at the minute is on making sure that the deal doesn’t go through, and if the deal doesn’t go through, then the arrangements we would have with the Conservatives – well, why would we break it?”

On whether the DUP would pay back the £1 billion given to Northern Ireland if the agreement ends, Mr Wilson added: “No, I don’t think so, because don’t forget we’ve already delivered over nearly a two-year period now on what the Government needed.

“If you look at our voting record, 50 percent of the votes that were required to get the Withdrawal Bill through relied on our support.

“Twenty per cent of domestic legislation wouldn’t have got through had it not been for our support – so we’ve already actually delivered for the Government on this and it was only a two-year deal we had with them as well.”

2.05pm update: Corbyn STILL wants head-to-head debate with May on Brexit deal

Jeremy Corbyn is continuing to insist on any television debate on a  Brexit deal being a head-to-head with Theresa May. 

A Labour party spokesman said: “When Number 10 told the media she wanted a head-to-head debate on her botched Brexit deal, Jeremy Corbyn immediately agreed.

“Jeremy Corbyn then swiftly accepted ITV’s proposal for a straightforward head-to-head debate with Theresa May. But the Prime Minister has rejected it.

“Since then, the Prime Minister’s team and their preferred broadcaster, the BBC, have put together a confused format which would limit head-to-head debating time, with a built-in advantage for the Government.

“The BBC’s latest proposal is a mish-mash, with a lop-sided panel of other politicians and public figures, not a straightforward head-to-head debate. The BBC could – as ITV and Sky have proposed to do – fairly represent other viewpoints and parties in other programmes on its network.

He added: ”The public has a right to a genuine head-to-head debate on the Prime Minister’s worst-of-all-worlds deal.

“Either Theresa May should accept ITV’s straightforward proposal or – if she prefers the BBC – ask the corporation for a genuine head-to-head debate. Jeremy Corbyn is ready to take part in either.

“If the Prime Minister turns down the opportunity of a genuine head-to-head debate, it will be clear she is once again dodging a TV debate with the leader of the opposition on the future of our country.”

Brexit latest Jeremy Corbyn

Brexit latest: Jeremy Corbyn is insisting on a televised head-to-head debate with Theresa May (Image: GETTY)

1.35pm update: Toyota warns no-deal Brexit would have ‘SERIOUS IMPACT on UK car production

Toyota has warned Britain crashing out of the EU without a Brexit deal would result in “stop-start production”at its car plant at a cost of millions of pounds. 

Motor industry representatives told a House Commons committee a no-deal Brexit would be “catastrophic” for the sector.

Toyota Europe deputy managing director Tony Walker warned UK consumers could pay a “significant” price for any deviation from EU standards and regulations after Brexit. 

He told the committee: “If we go out of line with the EU in the future, some areas wouldn’t be so expensive but some areas would be very expensive.

“If we were to have different emissions regulations, the cost would be huge and that cost would be passed on to the market so the UK consumer would pay for the additional R&D costs.”

Sydney Nash, senior policy manager at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said 12.4 percent of members companies have relocated some of their business to elsewhere in Europe. 

He added moving to World Trade Organisation tariffs under a no-deal Brexit would add around £4.5 billion to the cost of imports and exports. 

Mr Nash said: “No deal is not something that could be easily managed. It would have a serious impact on us in terms of our productivity, competitiveness and ultimately jobs.”

1.25pm update: Commons leader rejects claims Government was in contempt of Parliament

Andrea Leadsom has refuted accusations the Government has acted in contempt of Parliament by refusing to publish legal advice on the Brexit dealm, warning MPs they must “exercise caution in this matter”. 

She told Parliament: “The use of this motion has happened very rarely in the history of Parliament and I don’t think any member of this House can be in any doubt that the information that the Attorney General provided yesterday was a very frank assessment of the legal position.

“The questions posed by members on all sides addressed the key issues we must all consider on the legal effect of the Withdrawal Agreement.”

“No honourable member could say in all honesty that the Attorney General has done anything other than treat this House with the greatest of respect, there can be no question that he or the Government has acted in a manner which is contemptuous of this House.”

Mrs Leadsom claimed publishing the full text would be “irresponsible”, and said: “It would mean releasing information with no method for the House itself to review or assess the information in question before its release into the full domain.”

1.10pm update: ‘That is CONTEMPT!’ Starmer hits out at Government over publication of legal advice 

Sir Keir Starmer claimed the government has been “wilfully refusing to comply” with a binding issue by MPs over the publication of Brexit legal advice. 

He added the Government has ignored opposition motions “for months”, adding this tactic has “got them into very deep water indeed”. 

Addressing the government amendment which asks a committee to examine claims that ministers are in contempt of Parliament over the issues, the Shadow Brexit Secretary said: 

“There is nothing to refer – a binding order was made and the Government is refusing to comply with it.

“The reality is yet again, by its amendment, the Government is simply playing for time in the hope that this ends up in the long grass until the crucial vote is long gone.”

Brexit latest Keir Starmer

Brexit latest: Sir Keir Starmer hit out at the Government in the Commons (Image: SKY NEWS)

1.05pm update: No-deal Brexit could send shopping bills soaring by 10 percent

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has told MPs on the Treasury Select Committee that increased tariff prices, import costs and a sharp fall in the value of the pound would increase food prices “quite quickly”. 

He warned in the most extreme no-deal scenario, shopping bills could rise by up to 10 percent, but even in an orderly no-deal withdrawal with a transition period, grocery prices could still rise by six percent. 

Mr Carney said: “In the most extreme scenario, on average your shopping bill goes up by 10 percent because we have a 25 percent depreciation.

“If you go to a more orderly scenario transition, it’s something in the range of six percent.

“For individual food products it’s going to vary.

“But what people will do is that if the price of something goes up more than something else, they will switch products.”

1pm update: May’s spokesman responds to ECJ ruling 

The British government is not going to revoke its notice to quit after a top European Court of Justice legal advisor said Britain had the right to do so. 

The Prime Minister’s spokesman also told reporters in Westminster “this is not a final judgement” and “it does nothing in any event to change the clear position of the government that Article 50 is not going to be revoked”.  

12.15pm update: ‘LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE!’ Rees-Mogg says ‘establishment DOESN’T know best’ – new BREXIT POLL

Nearly two-thirds of voters want Britain to aim to be the most low-tax, business-friendly country in Europe after Brexit, an exclusive opinion poll for the Daily Express has revealed.

Sixty-five per cent of people quizzed in the survey backed a vision of a dynamic economy “focused on building strong international trade links” following next year’s departure from the EU.

And nearly half of voters (45%) would be prepared to sacrifice some economic growth “in order to complete Brexit properly”, the poll found.

Polling firm ComRes interviewed just over 2,000 UK adults online over the weekend in the survey on current attitudes to Brexit commissioned by the Daily Express.

Its findings are likely to be seized upon by MPs arguing that Brexit should signal a radical break with the past rather than leaving the country permanently tied to EU rules and regulations.

Senior Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg, who has been leading calls at Westminster for a decisive break with Brussels, said: “The politicians ought to listen more to the wisdom of electors rather than thinking the establishment knows best.”

Brexit latest Jacob Rees Mogg

Brexit latest: Jacob Rees-Mogg has warned Theresa May the establishment is not always right (Image: GETTY)

12.05pm update: Brexit Secretary CONFIRMS UK could still leave EU with ‘NO DEAL’

Stephen Barclay has said the UK could still leave the European Union without a Brexit agreement, before repeating the Prime Minister’s warning that “no Brexit” is also still an option.

He defended the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement with the Brussels bloc at a meeting of the Exiting the European Union Committee.

Mr Barclay insisted the UK could leave the EU without a Brexit deal, before repeating Theresa May’s warning that “no Brexit” was still an option if her deal is voted down in the House of Commons.

He said: “The Prime Minister fought day and night to secure a good deal for this country. A deal that honours the referendum.

“The point is if we don’t deliver on that then we risk significant uncertainty.

“As the Prime Minister has set out, that could be no deal, that could be no Brexit.

“I am sure members of the committee reflecting different perspectives on the referendum, will explore both sides of that.

“The point is, we will move into unchartered waters, we will move into significant uncertainty, that could be no deal but it could be no Brexit and that is the risk.”

12pm update: Remainer politicians REJOICE as ECJ advisor says UK can STOP Brexit without EU permission

ANTI-Brexit politicians rejoiced after a senior European Court of Justice legal advisor said Britain can unilaterally cancel Brexit without permission from the remaining European Union countries.

The cross-party campaign celebrated after the Advocate General said the UK Parliament should have the unilateral ability to revoke the Article 50 exit clause, which was triggered by the Government last year and means Britain will leave the EU on March 29, 2019.

Despite not being a binding ruling, the group believe the UK can now “stop the clock” on Brexit and rethink the decision of the historic EU referendum vote of June 2016.

The case was brought forward in February by a group of Scottish politicians – Labour MEPs Catherine Stihler and David Martin, SNP MP Joanna Cherry and MEP Alyn Smith, as well as Green MSPs Andy Wightman and Ross Greer, together with lawyer Jolyon Maugham QC, director of the Good Law Project.

In his opinion, ECJ Advocate General Manuel Campos Sanchez-Bordona said the UK can “unilaterally” revoke its withdrawal from the EU.

He said: “Withdrawal from an international treaty, which is the reverse of a treaty-making power, is by definition a unilateral act of a state party and a manifestation of its sovereignty.

“Unilateral revocation would also be a manifestation of the sovereignty of the departing member state, which chooses to reverse its initial decision.”

Brexit latest Stephen Barclay

Brexit latest: Stephen Barclay confirmed the UK could still leave the EU with no deal (Image: PA)

11.50am update: Former Bank of England boss blasts ‘incompetence’ that led to Brexit deal

Lord King said: “The withdrawal agreement is less a carefully crafted diplomatic compromise and more the result of incompetence of a high order,” he wrote for Bloomberg.

“I have friends who are passionate Remainers and others who are passionate Leavers.

“None of them believe this deal makes any sense. It is time to think again, and the first step is to reject a deal that is the worst of all worlds.”

He added: “Leaving the EU is not the end of the world, any more than it will deliver the promised land.

“Nonetheless the country is entitled to expect something better than a muddled commitment to perpetual subordination from which the UK cannot withdraw without the agreement of the EU.”

11.20am update: Carney defends Bank of England forecasts on Brexit

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has defended the bank’s forecasts for the potentially major impact of Brexit made last week.

It had said that under a worse-case scenario, Britain could suffer an even bigger hit to its economy than during the global financial crisis.

But Mr Carney has told lawmakers at a hearing in Parliament the scenarios set out by the Bank of England reflected preparatory work to ensure banks and other lenders were ready for Brexit.

He said: “There’s no exam crisis. We didn’t just stay up all night and write a letter to the Treasury Committee.

“You asked for something that we had, and we brought it, and we gave it to you.”

Brexit latest Mark Carney

Brexit latest: Mark Carney has defended the Bank of England’s economic forecasts (Image: GETTY)

11am update: Brexit mismanagement has DAMAGED financial services sector – could take DECADE to repair, warns policy chief

Brexit mismanagement has made Britain the new “hot heads” of Europe and caused long-term damage to the financial services industry that could take at least a decade to repair, the City of London’s policy chief has warned.

Catherine McGuinness said banks, insurers and asset managers in the “Square Mile” financial district are continuing to set up new hubs in the EU by March, even before they know if Parliament has voted Theresa May’s Brexit deal through.

She told Reuters: “People realise it is going to be very turbulent whatever happens. The worst-case scenario would be no-deal happening by accident or design.

“We do travel the world quite extensively and I do find people asking what is going on in the UK, saying ‘you used to be so statesman-like and rather boring, and now you seem to have become the hot heads and hot bloods of Europe’.”

The City of London’s policy chief warned the uncertainty for Britain’s largest economic sector would continue, whether a transition deal starts in March or if Britain crashed out of the bloc.

Around 5,000-13,000 jobs are expected to have left Britain by March 29.

10.40am update: EU is PRESSURING British banks to LEAVE UK before Brexit

British banks are coming under increasing pressure from EU countries to move more of their business from London before Brexit.

Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), warned firms are being urged to make the move to rival trading centres as countries looks to make the most of business they win from Brexit at the expense of the City.

France has been particularly aggressive in its attempts to snatch UK business.

Speaking to MPs at the Treasury Committee yesterday, he said: We are aware there is some pressure on firms.

“There are discussions about what you might call ensuring there is a critical mass of business moved over to a European Union entity that is being created.

The FCA has already written to financial services companies in London, telling them to make the “minimum necessary changes” to where they book clients’ business.

Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin, Amsterdam and Luxembourg have been touted as places business could be relocated to.

10.30am update: Pound CLIMBS back against the euro after falling to FIVE-WEEK low

The pound climbed back up against the euro this morning as the exchange rate rallied off news that Britain could effectively reverse Brexit.

Sterling had fallen to as low as €1.1180, according to data from Bloomberg, before rising to claw back ground to €1.1224 at just before 9am. The last time the pound dipped to this level against the eurozone currency was on October 30, marking a five-week low for the pairing.

Against the US dollar, the pound is trading slightly up at $ 1.2761, a marginal boost from the open of $ 1.2725.

Danske Bank currency strategist Morten Helt said the pound will remain volatile as Brexit developments continue to rumble on.

10.10am update: READY FOR BREXIT NO-DEAL: City is BETTER prepared than EU – finance chief

The City of London is more prepared for a no-deal Brexit than the European Union, the head of the UK’s financial services regulator has revealed.

Andrew Bailey told the Treasury Select Committee that a “very substantial range of mitigating actions” had been “planned and executed” to protect customers in the event of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.

But the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority warned the bloc was in a “different place” in terms of shielding EU consumers from no-deal chaos.

Speaking to the Treasury Selection Committee, the finance chief said: “We hope that for UK resident consumers that the very substantial range of mitigating actions that are both planned and being executed will substantially alleviate the position of UK consumers from a financial services point of view.

“In the context of the EU end of this there will be consumers who are EU residents and EU citizens but there will also be UK expatriates living in the EU who fall into that group of EU resident consumers.

“We obviously are working and doing quite a bit of work with the Government on that but I have to tell you they are in a different place in that sense to the assurance I can give you in respect of UK resident consumers.”

Brexit news Chris Grayling

Brexit news: Chris Grayling has defended decision not to release the full legal advice (Image: GETTY)

9.45am update: Brexit is a big opportunity’ Sinn Fein leader says united Ireland referendum is COMING

Brexit offers an chance to unite the Republic and Northern Ireland if the problem of a hard border is not solved in Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, Sinn Fein’s leader said.

Mary Lou McDonald said Brexit was seen as a “big opportunity” to make the case for a united Ireland.

Theresa May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement was signed off by the EU27 last month – but the Prime Minister faces opposition over a number of points in the agreement including the last-resort Irish backstop – emergency plans to stop a hard border if Brexit talks hit a stumbling block.

The DUP, which props up Theresa May’s government, said it would end its Supply and Confidence agreement with the Tories if there was no resolution to the backstop issue when Parliament votes on December 11.

But Sinn Fein leader and Mary Lou McDonald, who does not recognise the authority of Westminster over Northern Ireland, said a failure to reach an agreement could result in a “united Ireland” if a border was drawn between the UK and Ireland down the Irish Sea.

9.25am update: Transport Secretary DEFENDS decision not to release full legal advice 

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Chris Grayling said: “The reality is that the position of the legal advice is a very straightforward and a very longstanding one.

“I’m a former Lord Chancellor, it is a central part of the principles of our legal system that the advice provided from a lawyer to their client is treated as confidential, it’s privileged information.

“Government has always behaved in that way and actually if Government starts to have to publish every bit of legal advice it gets that is going to put us at a serious disadvantage when it comes, for example, to dealing with court cases with third parties.

“What we saw yesterday was the Attorney General, for the first time in a quarter of a century and more, coming to the Commons, taking detailed questions about the legal position, being very open about the legal position and providing Parliament with the information it needs.

“I think that is the right approach.”

Brexit latest Geoffrey Cox

Brexit latest: Geoffrey Cox warned Britain could be “indefinitely committed” to the customs backstop (Image: GETTY)

9.10am update: UK CAN revoke Article 50 without EU permission & reverse Brexit – EU court BOMBSHELL

Britain should be allowed to cancel Brexit without the permission of the remaining European Union countries, according to a shock European Court of Justice opinion.

The Advocate General, the ECJ’s top legal advisor, suggests the UK Parliament should have the unilateral ability to revoke the Article 50 exit clause, which the Government triggered last year and means Britain will leave the EU on March 29, 2019.

Manuel Campos Sánchez-Bordona’s opinion will offer a boost to Remainers hoping to reverse Brexit when MPs vote on Theresa May’s controversial withdrawal agreement, which has been agreed by EU leaders in Brussels.

Campaigners, including MPs Chris Leslie and Tom Brake, took their case to the ECJ arguing that the government should have the unilateral right to revoke the exit process, giving the House of Commons the power to reverse Brexit.

Mr Sánchez-Bordona told ECJ judges that MPs needed the clarification was needed to inform decision making ahead of next week’s vote on Mrs May’s Brexit deal in the House of Commons.

9am update: What will happen during the Brexit debate in the Commons?

The Government has alloted time on five days for the deal to be debated – including up to eight hours of debate on December 4, 5, 6 and 10 – with votes expected on December 11. 

Amendments have been tabled by two Labour MPs to extend the time for debate. 

They will be debating the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by the Government with the EU, which outlines the desired future relationship. 

MPs are being asked to support this by supporting a motion tabled by Theresa May.

MPs walk through rooms either side of the Commons chamber known as the ayes and noes, and have eight minutes to reach the division lobbies when a vote is called. 

They will register their vote on a tablet device and the result is usually announced within 15 minutes of the vote being called. 

If there is more than one vote, MPs tend to wait in the chamber and the process is repeated. 

8.40am update: People wants us to GET ON with Brexit – Northern Ireland Secretary of State

Karen Bradley said that is the “overwhelming message” she has heard as she campaigns in favour Theresa May’s Brexit deal. 

She has visited several towns and cities in Northern Ireland, including Lisburn, Newtownards and Bangor as part of her drive to gain support for the proposed Withdrawal Agreement. 

Ms Bradley said: “The overwhelming message I heard is that the people of Northern Ireland want the Government to get on with it and deliver a deal that will help provide a better future for them and their families,” she added.

“I believe this deal is the best possible way to do that.

“This week is hugely important as the debate in the House of Commons about the deal begins.

“I hope my colleagues take the time to listen to the businesses and people of Northern Ireland who support this deal ahead of the vote next week.

“They will hear that the deal on the table is good for Northern Ireland.”

8.30am update: Brexit could SPEED up access to drugs and SAVE lives – cancer expert BLASTS EU agency

Brexit could accelerate access to new drugs and save lives, the boss of the UK’s leading cancer institute has warned.

Professor Paul Workman, chief executive of the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), said patients are having to wait too long for treatments to be taken through clinical trials and approved for use under the EU’s European Medicines Agency.

He highlighted the EMA as being a major cause for some of the delays but claimed patients could benefit if their powers are moved to the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) after Brexit.

More needs to be done to get innovative new treatments to patients, he said.

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