Politics update: Tusk calls for Brexit delay of up to a year, as government writes offer letter to Labour


Tusk calls for article 50 extension of up to a year


Donald Tusk will tell the EU to support a “flexible” extension of article 50 of up to a year, which would allow Britain to leave the EU once a withdrawal agreement is voted through Parliament, according to senior EU sources.

The European Council president is said to want to avoid the notion that Britain is ‘trapped’ in the EU, giving the prime minister alternative options for moving forward in negotiations.

Tusk will tell EU leaders at a summit on Wednesday that the lengthy extension would avoid the need for repeated discussions on an extension every few weeks.

Although the idea of a lengthy extension will be met with strong opposition from Brexiteers in the Conservative party, the chancellor, Philip Hammond, has in recent days shown his support for the idea.

May will make written offer to Corbyn

Kier Starmer Jeremy Corbyn

Theresa May will make a written offer to Jeremy Corbyn, setting out proposals from the government on how to move forward on Brexit.

After delegations from the government and Labour met on Thursday to try and reach a compromise deal, government officials began drafting a letter with an offer – negotiations will resume in Downing Street on Friday.

After discussions had taken place on Thursday, Corbyn sent a letter to Labour MPs saying: “Agenda items were customs arrangements, single market alignment including rights and protections, agencies and programmes, internal security, legal underpinning to any agreements and confirmatory vote.”

However, according to the Guardian, the Conservative side – David Lidington, Steve Barclay, Julian Smith, Greg Clark and Gavin Barwell – ‘spent much of their time explaining the details of the withdrawal agreement’, rather than discussing alternatives.

Social media bosses could be held to ‘duty of care’

The leaders of big social media firms such as Facebook and twitter could be held accountable for the harmful content shared on them, according to new government plans.

Ministers plan to put forward legislation for a ‘duty of care’ to be placed on social media bosses, giving watchdogs the power to impose fines on the companies and hold executives personally responsible.

A government spokesman said on Thursday: “We will shortly publish a White Paper which will set out the responsibilities of online platforms, how these responsibilities should be met and what would happen if they are not.”

“We have heard calls for an internet regulator and to place a statutory ‘duty of care’ on platforms, and have seriously considered all options”, he added.

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