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Brexit news - live: Government agrees to compromise with rebels over Brexit bill as Tory minister quits

Follow all the developments in UK politics as they happened

Liam James,Vincent Wood
Wednesday 16 September 2020 23:01
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UK does not have enough testing capacity, Boris Johnson admits

Boris Johnson has admitted to the Liaison Committee that the UK does not have sufficient testing capacity, but continued to defend the coronavirus testing system amid chaos.

Earlier, he faced deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner at prime minister’s questions as she filled in for isolating Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in the House of Commons, where he failed to answer questions from the deputy Labour leader about how much care home workers earn per hour in the UK.

He was also accused of pushing the blame on the public for massive delays in the coronavirus testing system.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson has been warned by US congress members that the UK government’s “disturbing” plan to breach the terms of the Brexit deal puts at risk any future trade deal between the two countries.

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That’s all from us, thanks for following

Vincent Wood16 September 2020 23:01
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Biden speaks out on US-UK trade deal, saying Good Friday Agreement can't 'become a casualty of Brexit'

Joe Biden has ruled out any future trade accord between the US and the UK if Westminster does not respect the Good Friday Agreement in the latest ramping up of concerns from US Democrats over Boris Johnson’s Brexit approach.

In a tweet the former vice president, and current presidential candidate, wrote: "We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit.

“Any trade deal between the US and UK must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period.”

More below:

Biden says Good Friday Agreement can't 'become a casualty of Brexit'

‘Any trade deal between the US and UK must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period’

Vincent Wood16 September 2020 22:19
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Boris Johnson forced to give MPs vote on controversial bill

Boris Johnson has bowed to pressure to offer MPs a  “lock” on controversial plans to tear up part of  the Brexit agreement with the European Union.

The prime minister will push ahead with the proposals, which a cabinet minister admitted last week could break international law.

But MPs will be offered another vote before the powers can be used, Downing Street announced.

More below:

Vincent Wood16 September 2020 21:48
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Jim Shannon bestows his blessing on the adjournment debate

The commons has moved on to the adjournment debate - today on misogyny in sport.

Regular parliament watchers may note the adjournment debate, which is used for short debates to discuss matters of interest to MPs on the record, often features a certain voice - the member for Strangford, Jim Shannon.

Given today is Welsh Labour MP Alex Davies Jones’ first adjournment debate, she has naturally welcomed the traditional intervention from Mr Shannon.

Vincent Wood16 September 2020 21:24
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Laws in order

Parliament has been stuck in logjam over a clause of the internal markets bill - but not for the reason you might expect.

The pass readers MPs had been using to vote have failed, meaning everyone who wishes to register their aye or nay must pass either side of the deputy speaker in a long queue through the parliamentary estate.

After a full vote the doors were locked and clause 46 - which gives the government power to provide state aid to industry - was allowed to stand, so no change and a minor and expected government win. And all it took was 31 minutes.

Vincent Wood16 September 2020 21:13
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Government expected to announce fresh local lockdowns across northeast

New local lockdown measures are expected to be imposed on parts of the North East of England, according to local media reports.

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said “additional, temporary” measures are being planned to prevent another full lockdown. An announcement is expected from Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Thursday morning.

Government expected to announce new round of local lockdowns across northeast

The latest breaking news, comment and features from The Independent.

Kate Ng16 September 2020 20:46
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Compromise on Brexit bill does not ‘fix the problem of breaking the law’, says Ed Miliband

Labour’s shadow business secretary and former party leader Ed Miliband has weighed in on the compromise agreement between the government and Tory rebels agains the Brexit bill.

He said on Twitter: “This does not fix the problem of breaking the law, damaging our reputation around the world and damaging our future prosperity.

“We need a trade deal with Europe and that is what we were promised at the election. Breaking our own word and the treaty the Prime Minister signed puts that at risk.

“On the basis of tonight’s statement, this Bill still breaks international law, reopens the Brexit debate and Labour will continue to oppose it.”

Kate Ng16 September 2020 20:22
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Parliament’s overseas aid committee should not be scrapped, says PM

Boris Johnson has said he does not think parliament’s international development committee should be scrapped.

The committee, chaired by Labour MP Sarah Champion, was engaged in a tussle with Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg over its continued existence, reports our Policy Correspondent Jon Stone.

Read his report here:

Boris Johnson says parliament's overseas aid committee should not be scrapped

Committee likely to be saved amid fears scrutiny could suffer

Kate Ng16 September 2020 20:00
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Testing regime a ‘shambles’ and could force widespread school closures, warn teachers and unions

Schools across England and Wales have warned that the “increasingly out of control” situation regarding coronavirus testing could force widespread closures in the weeks ahead.

Thousands of pupils were sent home after positive test results, forcing hundreds of schools to ask classes or year group bubbles to self-isolate for 14 days, reports Adam Forrest.

Read the full story here:

Testing ‘chaos’ could force widespread school closures, teachers and unions warn

‘The testing regime is a shambles,’ says academy leader – as schools reveal staff shortages already causing problems

Kate Ng16 September 2020 19:30
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Government agrees to compromise with Tory rebels over controversial UK Internal Market Bill

A joint statement issued on behalf of Downing Street and Conservative MPs Sir Bob Neill and Damian Green said: "Following constructive talks over the last few days, the Government has agreed to table an amendment for Committee Stage.

"This amendment will require the House of Commons to vote for a motion before a minister can use the 'notwithstanding' powers contained in the U.K. Internal Market Bill.

"The Internal Market Bill was designed to give MPs and Peers a vote on the use of these powers via statutory instrument. But following talks, it is agreed that the Parliamentary procedure suggested by some colleagues provides a clearer, more explicit democratic mandate for the use of these powers, and also provides more legal certainty.

“The Government will table another amendment which sets clear limits on the scope and timeliness of judicial review into the exercise of these powers. This will provide people and businesses with the certainty that they need.”

Kate Ng16 September 2020 18:50

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