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Cabinet heading for no-deal Brexit row
Theresa May’s allies warn that leaving EU without agreement could lead to UK break-up
Shipbuilders pull out of £1bn support vessel shortlist
Blow for MoD as Italian and Korean yards withdraw from tender process
The Guardian view on Theresa May’s Brexit options: stark – and getting starker | Editorial
If there is no majority for the prime minister’s bill next month, the chances of a Brexit outcome in this parliament look remoteTheresa May’s plan to bring her Brexit deal back to parliament for a vote at the start of June has generated weary indifference at Westminster and beyond. In many ways it is, of course, easy to see why. Her Brexit deal was defeated in January, and then twice more in March. The deal hasn’t changed much. Her own authority is vestigial. So what is the point of trying for a fourth time, or of treating the attempt seriously? The parliamentary arithmetic hasn’t altered since the last failure. Talks with Labour have been and gone. The mood in Brussels is hardening against the UK. The Tory party, meanwhile, is expecting another electoral kicking and is increasingly obsessed with the succession, as is the media. Is it any wonder that both are acting as if Mrs May’s government no longer exists? Continue reading...
Ben Jennings on Theresa May's loss of authority – cartoon
It’s not difficult to define Islamophobia. So why does Britain struggle with it so much? | Nesrine Malik
From the Tory party to the police, senior figures raise problems which are simply irrelevant. It says a lot about their willingness to confront this prejudiceLast week it became clear that, according to senior police, the Tories and some non-Muslim public figures with some Muslim friends, the term “Islamophobia” is undefinable in any meaningful, actionable way. The working definition, put forward by the all-party parliamentary group on British Muslims, is not legally binding; yet Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said it was “too broad as currently drafted, could cause confusion for officers enforcing it and could be used to challenge legitimate free speech on the historical or theological actions of Islamic states”. This is either ignorant or consciously misleading. There is no legal implication in the definition whatsoever. Last week the government also rejected the definition, which in full reads: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.” The communities secretary, James Brokenshire, said that accepting the definition had “potential consequences for freedom of speech” and that the combination of race and religion would cause “legal and practical issues”. Already adopted by Labour and the Liberal Democrats, the definition was turned down because it needed “further consideration”. So just how much more information will it take for ministers to consider such a short single sentence? Continue reading...
Brexit: EU will not renegotiate withdrawal agreement with May's successor, warns Irish deputy PM
'The personality might change but the facts don't'
If I were Jeremy Corbyn I’d be praying for a Boris Johnson victory | Matthew d’Ancona
The Tory party is in trouble. Having a rightwing populist incompetent as leader would quickly trigger an election“This isn’t a TV reality contest!” So declared defence minister Tobias Ellwood, when asked by Sky News’ Sophy Ridge about the forthcoming Conservative leadership race. To which there is only one honest response: that’s precisely what it is. Even as the new Brexit deadline draws closer, the Labour-Tory talks collapse, the Commons prepares to reject Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement for the fourth time, and the Conservatives face disaster in Thursday’s European elections, senior contenders for the top job merrily parade themselves, their spouses, and their kitchens in a grotesque bid for support in a contest that has not yet officially begun. They can’t run the country, pass the legislation it needs, or arrange its departure from the European Union. But they’ll do a mean photoshoot for you at the drop of a hat. To govern is indeed to choose. Continue reading...
Rage, rapture and pure populism: on the road with Nigel Farage
The Brexit party leader has eschewed policies in favour of a persistent message pitting politicians against ‘the people’ Nigel Farage is barely visible in the middle of a scrum of bodyguards, protesters, TV cameras and boom mics barrelling up Merthyr Tydfil high street. “There’s definitely more cameras than shoppers,” jokes the leader of the newly formed Brexit party. His entourage ushers him into a vape shop, then a nail parlour, but is unable to shield him from the barrage of questions. Why doesn’t he have a manifesto? Or any policies? Does he know this town centre was regenerated with EU money? Is he being bankrolled by the former Ukip donor Arron Banks, who rented him a Land Rover, personal driver and a £4.4m house in Chelsea? Continue reading...
Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson denies acting as spy for Czechs during Cold War
'The allegations ... are a complete fabrication,' says former minister
Brexit: Nicola Sturgeon says SNP 'most consistent'
The SNP leader believes her party has articulated a consistent and clear anti-Brexit message.
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