As it happenedended1530633134

Brexit news - as it happened: Corbyn-backing union shies away from backing fresh Brexit referendum

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Tuesday 03 July 2018 09:51 BST
What could the sticking points be in the Brexit trade deal?

Britain’s biggest union, Unite, has shied away from backing a fresh referendum on the final Brexit deal but said it “remains open to the possibility” of one.

At the start of the day, it looked like Unite would support a public vote on Theresa May's exit terms, which flies in the face of Labour's official policy.

However delegates voted overwhelmingly in a favour of a weaker statement, which said: “Our priority will be to force an early general election which can lead to the election of a Labour government which would, among other things, reach a better deal with the European Union and improved relations with Europe all round.”

“We are also open to the possibility of a popular vote being held on any deal, depending on political circumstances.

“Within these principles, the executive council has authority to respond as it thinks best to a fast-changing political situation.”

It comes as the prime minister’s warring cabinet has been urged to “get on with the job” by senior Tories as UK businesses warned their patience is reaching “breaking point” over the government’s inability to answer key questions on Brexit.

Ashley Cowburn3 July 2018 08:51
Ashley Cowburn3 July 2018 08:51
Ashley Cowburn3 July 2018 08:52

Former Tory leader William Hague has issued a blunt warning to Cabinet Brexiteers not to push their demands for a clean break with the European Union too far.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, he said that any minister who chose that moment to quit would show they were not fit to hold high office in the first place.

Amid reports of ministers preparing possible leadership challenges, he warned that the "vast sensible middle" of the Conservative Party "deeply dislike naked manoeuvring to become the next leader".

He said: "Flouncing out, just when the going gets tough but when the EU Withdrawal Act has been successfully enacted, will look like evading responsibility for choices that were inevitable just when important progress has been made."

In his article, Lord Hague warned that the Brexiteers did not have the numbers in Parliament to force through their vision on a "hard Brexit" and urged them to think through the consequences of creating a leadership crisis.

"Everyone threatening Theresa May with chaos, revolt, resignations, and a leadership election if she doesn't do as they wish needs to think carefully about what might be the consequences of their actions," he said

"A vote of no confidence in the leadership called on this issue would in all probability rally the sensible middle to the Prime Minister.

"If ardent Brexiteers push too hard, they will end up without their main objective. If there is no agreement this week on a plan for customs arrangements, the Commons will be much more likely to vote in the near future to stay in the customs union in its entirety.

"The choice is either to back a compromise plan now or to end up with a more watered-down version of Brexit that would be forced on ministers anyway."

Ashley Cowburn3 July 2018 09:34
Ashley Cowburn3 July 2018 09:47
Ashley Cowburn3 July 2018 10:02

Ashley Cowburn3 July 2018 10:03
Ashley Cowburn3 July 2018 10:21
Ashley Cowburn3 July 2018 10:49

This is the agenda in the Commons today:

An urgent question on Govia Thameslink and rail electrification - 12.30

An urgent question on the LBGT action plan - 1.15

A statement from Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson providing a counter-Daesh update - 2pm

A 10-minute rule motion on Pets (Theft) 2.45pm

Estimates day debates (i) Department for Education (ii) Treasury spending on grants to the devolved institutions (iii) Main estimates 2018/19 - 3pm

A motion on the appointment of trustees to the House of Commons Members Fund

A short debate on Aldi supermarket housing development in Stapleford

Ashley Cowburn3 July 2018 11:29

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