Sir Graham told BBC Radio 4: ‘The new restrictions obviously are extraordinarily harsh. They are a very serious interference in people’s normal personal freedom and their right to normal family life as well… We have a Parliament which is meant to make some decisions. I suspect in this instance whereas people like me when I’m not satisfied by the explanations given for a rule of six rather than eight or ten, or whether children should be included or excluded, I might well vote against it if we were allowed a vote. … [Read more...] about Revellers hit the bars after parks and beaches were packed on last day in the sun before new ‘Rule of 6’ coronavirus crackdown – as ministers consider shielding for 4.5m ‘at risk’ and 10pm pub curfew because ‘young people forget the rules’
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At least 40 Labour MPs – and all but about nine Tories – are said to be opposed to a second referendum, although party sources believe this would change if Jeremy Corbyn came out strongly in favour. Writing on theguardian.com, the Labour MP Jon Cruddas and the director of Hope not Hate, Nick Lowles, argue that another referendum will only be seen as “legitimate” if the option of no-deal is also put on the ballot paper. … [Read more...] about Brexit secretary met Labour MPs championing second referendum plan
The legislation, which the Government is hoping to crash through the House of Commons in the next two weeks, will enable the UK to unilaterally make decisions about key issues, like customs arrangements between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland, contained within the Withdrawal Agreement. … [Read more...] about Boris Johnson ‘could drop plans to tear up parts of Brexit deal if EU limits Irish Sea checks’ – as PM accuses Brussels of trying to break up UK’s ‘territorial integrity’
Since bluff and brinkmanship are integral to what is unfolding now, we should not be too dogmatic in our predictions as to how this will turn out. Let us briefly entertain the possibility that the consensus is wrong and Mrs May somehow manages to extract a parliamentary victory from the jaws of defeat. There is a last-gasp rejigging of the Irish backstop and this proves sufficient to change enough minds in parliament and squeeze her deal through the Commons. Mrs May will then enjoy some of the best days of her premiership. She will even be hailed by some voices as a brilliant tactician who held her nerve until everyone else blinked. This adulation could last for maybe as long as 72 hours. Then everyone will remember why they found her deal so awful in the first place. A lot of her own party will remember why they want rid of her as leader. And what of those broad swathes of the electorate who are under the tragic illusion that parliamentary approval of the withdrawal agreement will … [Read more...] about Brexit is heading towards extra time. The question then is: to what purpose?
Journalists forced to flee China – Two Australian foreign correspondents in China have been urgently flown home after a tense diplomatic standoff. It comes as China is accused of using “hostage diplomacy” against journalists from countries whose leaders have criticised its Communist party government. The ABC’s Bill Birtles took sanctuary in the Australian embassy in Beijing after being told by Chinese police that he was banned from leaving the country. He was apparently allowed to leave after several days, having agreed to be interviewed by Chinese authorities while accompanied by Australia’s ambassador. Birtles said after returning to Sydney: “It’s a relief to be back in a country with genuine rule of law.” The Australian Financial Review’s Michael Smith was similarly aided by the Australian consulate in Shanghai after being visited by Chinese police. According to reports, both journalists had been told they were persons of … [Read more...] about Tuesday briefing: Brexit talks head for bitter end