EU and UK officials will resume Brexit talks this morning in the hopes of reaching a deal that can be agreed by leaders at a key summit on Thursday.Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to update the cabinet on the progress of the negotiations, which continued through the night.On Tuesday there were reports a deal was imminent amid claims the UK had made concessions over the Irish border.But Downing Street said there was "more work still to do".The EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, will update the bloc on what progress has been made between the two sides when he briefs EU commissioners and ambassadors later. Brexit talks continue amid claims deal is close Brexit has a new phrase - difficult but possible EU mulls new summit to 'get Brexit deal done' Mr Johnson is facing a race against the clock to reach a new Brexit deal before the two-day gathering of EU leaders.Any deal will need to be published - along with a legal text - if the EU27 are to consider ratifying the withdrawal … [Read more...] about Brexit: Talks enter last day before crunch EU summit
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A large consignment of Chinese antibiotics suspected to be destined for unregulated use on a poultry farm in Northern Ireland has been seized at a British airport, raising fears of a new food scandal. The Guardian has learned that medicine, believed to be the antibiotic amoxicillin, was intercepted at a British airport this week. Enforcement authorities in Northern Ireland were alerted and have begun an investigation into a large poultry farm company. The Northern Ireland Department of Health said: “A multi-agency operation was carried out on Thursday in the County Tyrone area in pursuance of offences under the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 and the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013. A number of items were removed for examination. An investigation is ongoing.” The Food Standards Agency said it had become involved in the investigation because the farm allegedly linked to the shipment reared meat. It said: “We are aware of the operation led by the Department of … [Read more...] about Food scandal fears after Chinese antibiotics seized at UK airport
MPs have voted for an amendment to the prime minister's Brexit deal which withholds Commons approval until the necessary UK legislation to leave the EU has been passed. To find out how your MP voted, use the search box below.The amendment was passed with a majority of 16 votes: 322 to 306. In response, the government cancelled Saturday's vote on the actual deal itself. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government would introduce legislation, next week, needed for Brexit on 31 October. Please upgrade your browser to view this interactive How did your MP vote this time? Enter a postcode, or the name or constituency of your MP Seat vacant MPs back Brexit deal delay What will happen with Brexit in the next few days? What is in Boris Johnson's new Brexit deal? Six Labour MPs rebelled to vote with the government. Meanwhile, 10 former Conservative independents voted for the Letwin amendment. Click here if you cannot see the look-up. Data from Commons Votes Services. … [Read more...] about Brexit deal: Did your MP vote for the Letwin amendment?
EU officials are growing increasingly alarmed at the prospect of a “wild west” Brexit outcome in which a legal vacuum prevents the UK from punishing companies that flout environmental laws. The petrochemicals company Ineos has threatened to close its Middlesbrough plant with the loss of 350 jobs unless it is allowed to defer compliance with EU rules on water and air pollution, according to documents obtained by Greenpeace. In all, the EU is the source of up to 80% of the UK’s environmental laws, covering chemicals pollution, plant emissions, pesticides, landfills, recycling, climate change and more. But the monitoring and enforcement powers of the EU commission and European court of justice will end with Brexit, potentially leaving a gap until a weaker UK replacement body becomes operational in 2021. The environment secretary, Michael Gove, admitted last week that environmental protections in a no-deal scenario were currently “suboptimal”. In the event of … [Read more...] about EU fears environmental fallout from ‘wild west’ Brexit
“Aren’t I supposed to be cross with you about something?” says John Humphrys, busying himself with making coffee. “What was it? I’ve forgotten… Do you want a banana?” I’m OK for a banana, thanks. We’re in Humphrys’s homely kitchen in his house in west London. And yes, the long-serving co-presenter of Radio 4’s Today programme has been cross with me before. About a year ago, as the Observer’s radio reviewer, I’d written an article about the Today programme that wasn’t entirely complimentary, and Humphrys had fired off an angry email at me, making some points I agreed with, and several I didn’t. I answered, and, after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, we ended up on fairly good terms. So now, here we are. I’m armed with umpteen readers’ questions for him – many hostile, I must say – and Humphrys is all set to answer them. Now 76, wiry and fiery, dressed in cosy fleece, Humphrys … [Read more...] about John Humphrys: ‘The Queen told me if she ever did an interview, it wouldn’t be with me’