John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor, Says that a Second Referendum May be Inevitable

John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, has said in an interview with the BBC that a second vote on Brexit may now be “inevitable”. He said that the Labour Party would prefer a General Election, but said that in the event that the party couldn’t force an election, they would likely be in favour of a second referendum to clear the deadlock.

McDonnell said that he would vote to remain in any second vote, but that he didn’t feel that the outcome would be inevitable. He said to the BBC:

“So, the caution for them and for all of us, whichever argument you put, is the people will decide. As we saw in the last referendum, it’s very difficult to predict which way the people will decide on this. I’ve seen a lot of polls that have said there has been a shift from Leave to Remain. I’ve also seen other polls saying actually we’re just about the same as we were then”.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, criticised the plan saying that a second vote by the British electorate was “an attempt to overthrow the will of the people”.

Prime Minister Visits Scotland to Promote Brexit Deal

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has travelled to Scotland in a bid to promote her Brexit deal to the people. The visit is a part of a tour around the country to try and raise awareness of the deal and to explain the benefits and issues with it.

The Prime Minister said in a statement:

“It is a deal that is good for Scottish employers and which will protect jobs. It includes a new free trade area with no tariffs, fees, quantitative restrictions or rules of origin checks—an unprecedented economic relationship that no other major economy has.

At the same time, we will be free to strike our own trade deals around the world – providing even greater opportunity to Scottish exporters. I welcome the strong support which employers have given to the deal and the certainty which it provides.

Crucially, the deal also ensures that we will leave EU programmes that do not work in our interests. So we will be out of the common agricultural policy, which has failed our farmers, and out of the common fisheries policy, which has so tragically failed Scotland’s coastal communities.

At long last, we will be “an independent coastal state” again – taking back full sovereign control over our waters, and free to decide for ourselves who we allow to fish in our waters.

The EU maintained throughout the negotiation process that it wanted to link overall access to markets to access to fisheries. It failed in the withdrawal agreement and it failed again in the political declaration.

I have been robust in defending the interests of Scottish fisherman so far- and I will always be so”.

Prime Minister Pays Respect to War Dead in Belgium and France

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has paid respects on behalf of the nation to those who died in Belgium and France during the First World War. She attended ceremonies with Emmanuel Macron, the French President, and Charles Michel, the Belgian Prime Minister, to mark the event. She also laid wreaths at the graves of John Parr and George Ellison, the first and last soldiers to die in the conflict.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:

“A century ago British forces fought side by side with our allies in Europe on the Western Front. Today in France and Belgium we reflect on our shared history, but also look ahead to our shared future, built on peace, prosperity and friendship.

At St Symphorien I will have the honour of laying a wreath on behalf of a nation at the graves of both John Parr and George Ellison, the first and last UK soldiers to die during the War. That their graves lie opposite each other is a fitting and poignant symbol that brings home the eternal bond between them, and every member of the Armed Forces who gave their lives to protect what we hold so dear.

We remember the heroes who lost their lives in the horror of the trenches. As the sun sets on one hundred years of remembrance, we will never forget their sacrifice”.

Prime Minister Meets with Premier Li of China

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has met with Premier Li of China, in a meeting at Brussels. The two discussed the future economic ties between the two countries as well as the currently controversial matter of political activity in Hong Kong.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:

“The two leaders began by discussing the Prime Minister’s successful visit to China earlier this year, when she had been joined by a UK trade delegation.

They discussed the opportunity to build further upon that visit, and the golden era in UK-China relations. Premier Li said he looked forward to ushering in a diamond era in the relationship.

The Prime Minister updated Premier Li on the Brexit negotiations. She said she looked forward to further strengthening our economic ties with China, including our trade relationship, in the future.

The Prime Minister reiterated the UK’s firm commitment to the rules based international system, including the importance of freedom of navigation and maritime security, in line with international law.

On Hong Kong, they agreed on the continued importance of one country, two systems”.

Prime Ministers Speaks to Business Leaders on Brexit

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has met with 130 business leaders to put forwards her vision for Brexit. She discussed the progress which had been made in the negotiations and accepted that there were still numerous areas where agreement hadn’t been reached.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:

“First, she recognised the importance of these discussions for businesses, their supply chains and clients. She outlined that the Government’s proposed future relationship with the EU would preserve the UK’s and EU’s frictionless access to each other’s markets for goods, protecting jobs and livelihoods on both sides.

She set out the significant progress that has been made on the Withdrawal Agreement and on our future relationship with the EU. She acknowledged that there were a few significant issues that were still outstanding, but said that the very real sense she had from leaders around the table at the Council was that they wanted to reach a deal as soon as possible this autumn.

Second, the Prime Minister spoke about the Northern Irish backstop, which is intended to guarantee that – in the unlikely event that there is a delay in bringing into effect our future relationship by the end of the implementation period at the end of December 2020 – there is no return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. If required, this would therefore only be necessary for a temporary period to act as a bridge to the future relationship.

The Prime Minister explained that the UK could not accept the EU’s proposal which included an arrangement in which Northern Ireland could be kept in a separate customs territory to the rest of the UK. She advised that our proposal included a UK-wide joint customs territory with the EU for the duration of the backstop, which would protect the integrity of the UK and deliver on the commitment to avoid a hard border with Ireland. She emphasised that both sides wanted to have our future relationship in place by the end of December 2020 so that the backstop never needed to be used, but that the negotiating teams would work intensively on this to find a way forward.

Finally, she urged businesses not to lose sight of the prize – that of a smooth trading relationship with the EU alongside the ability to seek new opportunities and open up new markets with trading partners around the world.

The Prime Minister took questions from businesses and representative bodies (Centrica, EY, Diageo, Enterprise Nation, RBS, Federation of Small Businesses, ITV, Aston Martin, Barratt Developments and Tesco) on topics such as the importance of frictionless trade, the implementation period and opportunities for the future.

A number of businesses thanked the Prime Minister for the opportunity to speak with her directly on the Brexit negotiations”.

Theresa May Meets Guy Verhofstadt in Downing Street

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has today met with Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s representative for Brexit, in Downing Street. They discussed the progress being made on Brexit, and also the rights of UK citizens in the EU.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:

“The Prime Minister gave an update on the negotiations, and on the commitment she gave on Friday to guarantee the rights of the three million EU citizens in the UK in the unlikely event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. She thanked Guy Verhofstadt for his efforts to engage Member States on the rights of British nationals living in the EU.

They discussed the two key outstanding issues in the negotiations: the future economic partnership and the Northern Ireland backstop. The Prime Minister underlined the need to ensure frictionless trade between the EU and the UK as part of the future relationship in order to find a solution to the Northern Ireland border and maintain the constitutional integrity of the UK. They both agreed that the best solution to the Northern Ireland border would be found through the future relationship.

The Prime Minister confirmed that the government would also bring forward further proposals on the Northern Ireland backstop. They agreed on the need to resolve these ongoing issues in a timely fashion so that the agreements could be discussed and ratified by UK and European Parliaments”.

Prime Minister Says UK can be Largest G7 Investor in Africa

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has said during a tour to Africa that she wants the UK to be the largest G7 investor in the region. The Prime Minister, who is visiting South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria during her tour, is hoping that new export markets can be opened up for British businesses following the departure from the European Union.

In a speech made in Cape Town the Prime Minister said:

“I can today announce a new ambition: by 2022, I want the UK to be the G7’s number one investor in Africa, with Britain’s private sector companies taking the lead in investing the billions that will see African economies growing by trillions.

We have the tools to do so. The City of London makes the UK the unrivalled global hub for international investment, with more than £8 trillion of assets under management. We are home to cutting-edge science and technology and world-class defence, diplomacy and development. We are a trusted and trustworthy partner: our legal system is second to none, including some of the toughest anti-corruption laws in the world”.

Theresa May Speaks to New Australian Prime Minister

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has today spoken by phone to Scott Morrison, the new Prime Minister of Australia. Morrison, who becomes the country’s 30th Prime Minister, is the leader of the Liberal Party and replaces Malcolm Turnbull.

A spokesperson for Theresa May said:

This morning the Prime Minister spoke to the new Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison.

“Prime Minister May congratulated Prime Minister Morrison on his new role, and they agreed to work together to continue to build on the close partnership between the UK and Australia, particularly on trade and economic issues.

They also discussed the importance of continued close cooperation on foreign and security policy and the Prime Minister thanked Australia for being an important ally in the aftermath of nerve agent use in Salisbury and for their commitment to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

They looked forward to keeping in close touch in the period ahead and meeting in the future.”

Prime Minister Speaks with President Erdogan

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has today spoken by phone to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey. They discussed matters relating to Syria and the Turkish economy.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:

“This morning the Prime Minister Theresa May spoke with President Erdogan of Turkey.

They discussed a number of their shared priorities. They both expressed their concerns about the escalating military action by the Syrian regime in north-west Syria putting millions of civilians at risk, and the potential for further – illegal – use of chemical weapons.

They discussed the importance of stability in the region, the need to protect civilians and to avoid a deterioration in the humanitarian situation. The Prime Minister reiterated her strong belief that the long-term stability of Syria can only be secured through a political settlement.

They also discussed the Turkish economy and the Prime Minister noted the UK is a major investor and trading partner with Turkey, and wants to see the Turkish economy flourish. The Prime Minister said the UK would welcome a visit from Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Minister to discuss ways to enhance the trade relationship between Turkey and the UK.”

Government Announces Measures to End Homelessness

The Government has today announced a package of policies which aim to end homelessness by 2027 and halve it by 2022. The Government is spending £100 million on the strategy, which will aim to reduce the numbers forced to live on the street, provide help for those living on the street and increase the housing options available to those in need.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, said in a statement:

“Nobody should have to sleep rough, and that’s why we must do all we can to help the most vulnerable in our society get the support they need.

But we recognise this is a complex issue – as well as ensuring people have somewhere to live, we have to deal with underlying problems and ultimately help people turn their lives around.

The strategy launched today will help us act to prevent rough sleeping before it happens and make sure targeted support is reaching those that need it”.

John Healey, the Shadow Housing Secretary, criticised the lack of new money, saying that some has already been announced. In a statement he said:

“The Government’s rough sleeping plan has unravelled just hours after it was announced. It’s now clear there is no additional money for the Housing Department to tackle the crisis of rough sleeping. Rough sleeping has more than doubled since 2010 thanks to decisions made by Tory Ministers, but this feeble plan lacks any urgency. The next Labour Government will end rough sleeping within our first term in office, making 8,000 homes available for people with a history of rough sleeping”.