Labour's Brexit crisis has deepened after Diane Abbott became the latest member of the shadow cabinet to back Remain over any deal negotiated by her own party. The shadow home secretary said today she will be 'personally campaigning for Remain' regardless of whether Labour commits to staying in the EU or not. She is the third Labour frontbencher to promise to back Remain against any Brexit deal the party agrees on. Ms Abbott said she would campaign for Remain in a second EU referendum, insisting it is the 'best option for the country and for my constituents'. She told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme: 'We are, of course... the party's committed to a referendum now and Jeremy's (Corbyn) made that clear, and if there is a referendum and if Remain is on the ballot paper, and there's every expectation it will be, I - like John McDonnell - personally will be campaigning for Remain.' Denying any party split, she claimed leader Jeremy Corbyn has 'successfully sought to … [Read more...] about Labour’s Brexit crisis deepens after Diane Abbott decides to campaign for Remain even if her party decide on an EU withdrawal deal
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British households are cutting back as the Brexit effect on the pound continues to raise living costs, according to a clutch of reports that show shops, car dealerships and other consumer-facing businesses coming under pressure last month. Uncertainty about the outcome of Thursday’s election was also cited as a factor as the reports showed a drop in retail sales, a slowdown for the vast services sector and a fall in new car sales last month. They provided the latest signs that while manufacturers have picked up steam in recent months, those firms that rely on household spending have struggled, boding ill for the UK economy’s overall prospects this year. Figures from the British Retail Consortium released on Tuesday showed that after an Easter-related bounce in April sales fell again in May, by 0.4% on a like-for-like basis from a year earlier. Taking less volatile figures for the last three months together, food sales rose but non-food sales were down. “After the … [Read more...] about UK households cut back as Brexit effect on pound hits living costs
Voters would overwhelmingly prefer the short-term disruption of a No Deal Brexit over the chaos of a Jeremy Corbyn Government – and that even applies to Labour supporters. Exclusive new research has found that nearly half of voters – 48 per cent – would be happy for the UK to leave the EU without a deal if the alternative scenario was Mr Corbyn as Prime Minister, while just 35 per cent preferred to have the Labour leader in Downing Street. Strikingly, the analysis of more than 8,000 voters' intentions, conducted by former Conservative Deputy Chairman Lord Ashcroft, discovered that, among Mr Corbyn's own voters who back Brexit, the figure was 57 per cent for No Deal, against 28 per cent who wanted to see their party leader in No 10. One member of Lord Ashcroft's focus group, quoted in his research, said: 'A Corbyn Government would be worse [than No Deal]. I would actually be scared.' Another said: 'Boris is a whirlwind of chaos, he's a bit like Trump, but Corbyn is a … [Read more...] about Voters would prefer the short-term disruption of a No Deal Brexit over a Jeremy Corbyn Government – including Labour supporters!
Campaigners seeking a second referendum on Brexit have announced plans to hold a protest the weekend before the scheduled departure date. The "Put it to the People" march, organised by People's Vote, will call for the public to be given a final say on any Brexit deal. Its timing - on March 23 - follows suggestions that a deal may not be agreed until the eleventh hour. Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29. Pro-Remain MPs from across the Commons welcomed the announcement, with Tory former minister Anna Soubry saying there will be "nowhere for any MP to hide" come the final week of March. She said: "There is now a real danger that this is going to go right down to the wire. "The Prime Minister appears intent on holding the long-awaited meaningful vote as late as possible, in the hope of pressuring MPs into backing what they know is a bad deal. "And Jeremy Corbyn appears happy to let the clock run down, rather than tabling Labour's proposals or backing a People's Vote. … [Read more...] about Brexit news: ‘Put it to the People’ march planned for week before withdrawal
Britain’s flagging economy suffered a further blow in October after companies in the key services sector reported a decline in new orders for the seventh month this year and car sales slumped again, taking the annual decline to 6.7%. Analysts blamed the weaker outlook on Brexit uncertainty, which continued to take its toll on business and consumer confidence at home and abroad. Services firms said export orders were the worst affected last month, falling at the same pace as the near record fall in September. Rising import prices also put a squeeze on firms’ profitability, prompting many to lay off workers, some through compulsory redundancies. Activity across the services sector was stagnant with the IHS Markit/Cips purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rising slightly to 50.0 last month from September’s 49.5. A figure above 50 indicates growth. The modest increase from September reflected reports from some firms of optimism about a resolution to the wrangling over … [Read more...] about UK economy hit as service sector reports big fall in new orders